Strategic Planning Committee
1998-99 End of the Year Report

Contents
Academic Distinction
Cultural Diversity and Social Justice
Service Community
Technology
External Relations Student Life and Development
Enrollment Management
Administrative Affairs
The Game Afoot
Next Year's Tasks

Purpose of this report; availability of sub-committee reports.

This is an executive summary of the work of the Strategic Planning Committee. It summarizes the reports from each of the subcommittees, lists their major recommendations, describes the unit reports, and tries to present a coherent view of the changes St. Cloud State University (SCSU) is currently undergoing. In the latter section, it will collate similar recommendations from various committees and other units. Each of the full sub-committee reports is available on the Web (http://lrts.stcloudstate.edu/spc) and on the second floor of the library.

Recent History

The committee opened the year determined to recapture the momentum established in the 1997 report. The tumultuous campus events of the fall of 1997 got the 97-98 year off to a slow start. Much preliminary definition and ground work were done in the 1997-98 year, but little of it was visible to the university as a whole. This year's committee continued the sub-committees that had been established the year before and whose titles match the themes of the 1997 report: Academic Distinction, Diversity and Social Justice, Service, Technology, and External Relationships.

By far the most successful bit of planning in 1997-98 was the Teaching and Learning Technology Roundtable Report. It was written by a group that included many members of the technology sub-committee and was accepted by the larger Strategic Planning Committee as its report. In this report, minimum standards for computers were laid out, as was a plan to complete the wiring of the campus and a plan to create a variety of instructional media sites. This year, that plan has been the guideline along which equipment allocations have been made. Approximately $1,500,000 has been spent to bring this plan to fruition. In addition, the existence of this plan has allowed several faculty members to acquire over $750,000 in grants by arguing that their work and technology plans dovetailed with the University's Strategic Plan. Indeed, the ability for individuals to show granting agencies that this request fits into university goals is one of the basic advantages of strategic planning.

The other sub-committees began this year with the goal of defining their theme and producing specific recommendations in their areas. At the same time, the president mandated that other groups including Enrollment Management, Student Life and Development, Administrative Services, Learning Resources and Technology Services and the Colleges of Business and Education begin a strategic planning process using the broad themes developed in the 1997 report. Thus, the sub-committees found themselves in a parallel process in which they aided the other planners in the definitions in their reports as well as developed a set of coherent recommendations for the campus as a whole.

Academic Distinction:

This committee, chaired by Dr. Jeanne Hites, saw its task in two separate stages. The first was to answer the question, "How would we know academic distinction if we saw it?" In answer to this question the committee developed a 94 item check list using the sub-categories to academic distinction included in the 1997 report. This list was distributed to vice presidents and deans. The deans are to bring the list to their dean/chair councils and the chairs are to bring this list to the department level. The committee sees the list as descriptive, not prescriptive, and acknowledges that not all items will fit every department. Rather, the list should be used as a planning tool that will help departments assess their strengths and weaknesses.

The second part of their task was to offer a definition of academic distinction and to make specific recommendations. The committee approved the following definition:

SCSU educates the global citizen for the 21st Century. What makes us distinct is that we are a comprehensive university which prepares students for careers and a positive role in the community with both general liberal studies and specific career skills. Students are taught by professors in strong academic programs with significant ties with the local and global community, and have access to dedicated faculty and staff. We focus on the global environment in general and multi-cultural efforts with opportunities on and off campus.

The committee also thought that the top priorities for immediate implementation were as follows:

The five priorities for Academic Distinction in year 1 must be to:

  1. Cultivate an atmosphere of trust, respect and openness.
  2. Prepare students, faculty and staff to function and work in a diverse, global environment.
  3. Maintain and enhance the quality of applied programs.
  4. Support the liberal arts and connect them to our student's lives and career choices.
  5. Adopt a framework that recognizes and supports multiple forms of scholarship with the time and resources to pursue them.

This issue of an atmosphere of trust, or as the cultural diversity and social justice subcommittee calls it, "respectful inquiry", is a theme that arises in several places and in several ways. We will deal with it at the end of the report. A number of strategies were suggested as ways to achieve this goal. They include such suggestions as; faculty and academic administrators could participate to the greatest extent possible in social events, teach and contribute in departmental intellectual events such as seminars, lectures, debates, and discussions. Places on campus such as reading rooms could be designated (by administrators and departments) where faculty could interact as scholars. Faculty and academic administrators could contribute to the greatest extent possible in joint planning and information sharing. Persons who wish to read all the strategies are referred to the web document (http://lrts.stcloudstate.edu/spc/spacademic.html).

In the interest of brevity, we will not discuss each of these themes at length. We would like to note that educating the global citizen has curricular and other local implications as well as in international programs. All our research shows that students come to SCSU primarily to train for employment opportunities. Thus, our applied programs are essential to maintaining enrollment and student satisfaction. This same research shows that many students, alumni, and faculty value the personal development and wider knowledge their liberal arts training has given them. We need to find ways for students to have these experiences throughout their stay at SCSU and not just in general education. We refer the reader to the full report. However, the concerns faculty have about the four scholarships framework and the concern that this framework will somehow supercede the contract suggests that we should reproduce in full our reasoning and recommendations.

Faculty at an institution such as this need not only keep up with and contribute to their discipline, but also to be aware of their students' probable career paths. Faculty need to organize effective courses to get their students started on them. An effective university will accomplish this through a diversity of methods. Boyer's four scholarship framework seems to offer an appropriate approach to meeting these needs. It acknowledges Teaching (transforming and extending knowledge) as a scholarship, as well as Discovery (investigatory research), Integration (synthesizing and connecting and interpreting ideas), and Application (practical use of one's discipline, service). Initial conversations indicate that there are many unresolved concerns about the framework, and not all faculty have had adequate time to study and think through the implications of adopting this model.

The committee recommends in the next year:

  • Faculty continue the Carnegie Conversations until such time that concerns are resolved and faculty can adopt this or a similar framework freely.
  • Administration, faculty and staff work to institutionalize the adopted framework through grant processes, negotiation (of promotion and tenure processes), sabbatical processes and other appropriate processes.
  • Administration, faculty and staff develop a program to support teaching excellence throughout faculty members' careers through the Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence.
  • Administration and the IFO develop a strategy for systematically identifying and nominating outstanding faculty for regional and national teaching awards.
  • Departments work toward educationally sound ways to reduce faculty load to allow time for pursuit of scholarship (such as focusing the curriculum or interdepartmental or cross-disciplinary collaboration which might have the effect of maintaining curriculum integrity while reducing the number of courses departments need to offer).
  • Administration support legitimate and educationally sound ways to reduce faculty load with the eventual goal of reaching 9 semester hours teaching load.
  • IFO accepts a legitimate proposal on reassigned time for scholarly or creative pursuits.
  • The administration encourages and recognizes selected service as scholarship of application, especially where it is tied the faculty members' discipline.

Cultural Diversity and Social Justice:

As might be expected this report was the most controversial. It may be read in its entirety on the Strategic Planning website (http://lrts.stcloudstate.edu/spc). However, before we deal directly with the recommendation, we would like to present the report's premises and methodology.

Methodology:

In the spring of 1997 the Strategic Planning Committee's sub-committee on Social Justice and Cultural Diversity proposed a method to fulfill its charge. The sub-committee proposed to interview as many "relevant groups" as time and staff permitted. The concerns and suggestions which emerged in those interviews were carefully registered and that record was given to each group to check for accuracy and additions. As each final version was obtained, the report was submitted to the full Strategic Planning Committee. This must be assumed to be the final list of concerns of major importance for the groups interviewed. Concerns which arise from now forward will have to be taken up in a future plan.

In the second part of its work, the sub-committee made a comprehensive list of all suggestions, comments and analyses which could be culled from the interviews. The sub-committee then sought themes running through and cutting across the interviews. Those themes are then taken to be problems which the plan must address. The sub-committee sorted out those items which could be addressed by existing structure units. Those items are simply referred for action, sometimes with a tentative recommendation. Those items forwarded to units should not be construed as accusations leveled against any part of the University. These are perceptions, which regardless of their factual status, need to be addressed.

The groups consulted were as follows:

  • Advisor to International Students
  • American Indian Center
  • Caucus of the Faculty and Staff of Color
  • Council of African-American Students
  • Cultural Diversity Committee
  • Feminist Issues Caucus
  • Hmong Student Organization
  • Jewish Faculty
  • M.E.C.H.A.
  • Representative of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered Caucus
  • Research Team on Retention of Faculty & Staff of Color
  • Women's Center

Rationale:

It is taken to be the very nature of justice that it must be equal. To the extent that a plan approaches issues group by group, it perpetuates divisions and animosities. Yet some problems seem very specific to one group. For example, Hmong students' need for married student housing is tied to their own cultural patterns. Even in these instances, viewing a series of similar problems among disparate groups, one is driven to seek a common thread. At that point the process uncovers an underlying, fundamental condition to be addressed in the plan.

The approach taken in this process represents a conscious attempt to rise above divisive and parochial identities by asserting an agenda of problems cutting across groups. Thus it is hoped that the University can embrace a plan that benefits multiple constituencies. It is further our intention to solicit unified support from those constituencies as an antidote to any temptation to selectively implement the plan.

Recommendations and Responses:

The recommendations of the Social Justice and Diversity sub-committee may be divided into several categories. The first of these might be irritantsÐfailures to communicate effectively, insensitivity to dietary restrictions of certain religious groups, and overuse of minority students leaders without concern for their study time. In various ways units in Student Life and Development, Admissions, ARA and other affected units are addressing these issues and should have improved or corrected these situations by Fall of 1999.

A second category might be called cross-cultural. These are more difficult to get at, but if we are to be a diverse and global campus they are necessary. These include the suggestions that admissions stress or global and diverse population and mission, that Housing create a program whereby American Students can volunteer to room with International students and provide some training to both students to help make such living arrangements a positive experience. Many of these suggestions reinforce the recommendations of the Academic Distinction sub-committee on educating the global citizen.

A third and thornier category is administrative and faculty concerns. The report recommends that six places be set aside for hiring domestic minorities. Both the University's lawyer and the Affirmative Action Officer suggest that this plan is illegal. Nonetheless the committee feels we need to increase the number of minority faculty on campus if we are to educate all our students to function in a diverse and global economy and if we are to make minority students comfortable on campus.

The Strategic Planning Committee recommends that the IFO and the Administration, in concert with the Faculty of Color Caucus, work to find ways to increase minority hiring.

Each college in its strategic plan should identify programs in which hiring minority faculty is both necessary and likely.

Another administrative area that poses some difficulty is that of staffing the Affirmative Action Office. The basic problem is stated eloquently in the sub-committee's report as follows:

The Office of Affirmative Action has earned a reputation for scrupulous, evenhanded enforcement of University policies and procedures regarding hiring and harassment issues. Complaints focus on the pace of investigations, the frustration with the slow progress in hiring domestic minorities, unequal application of standards, the limits of the definitions in place as to the various forms of harassment and the countervailing values, such as academic freedom, even when offensive behavior is established. There are also complaints by some faculty that job descriptions for staff positions are written without consulting with minority faculty and staff immediately affected by the search. It is a good sign that for the most part the University community does not blame the office itself for these shortcomings but rather tends to locate the problem in staff shortages, existing policies or the absence of auxiliary units like the office of an ombudsman. At the same time there is reason for optimism in the success of the mediation process begun this year. This process may fill a number of tasks associated with the function of an ombudsman.

The report assumes that the problem is simply under staffing, however we recommend the President and the Affirmative Action Officer examine the duties of her office, increase staffing if necessary, and create an ombudsman's position which need not necessarily be housed in the Affirmative Action Office.

A third difficult area is the recommendation for retreats for the faculty of color one of which would be to plan a mentoring system for students of color. MNSCU has made it difficult, but not impossible to have faculty retreats off-campus. Nonetheless, it seems clear that we need to find ways to help minority students to succeed and that they have some difficulty in knowing about or accessing those services we have to help students succeed. Similarly, faculty of color need to be fully a part of the university.

Therefore we recommend that the President, the appropriate vice presidents and the faculty of color work toward creating structures that would meet these goals. While any reasonable mentoring program for students of color must include faculty of color, it need not be limited to them.

There were a number of other recommendations that have been forwarded to the appropriate units for discussion and action. Many of these concerned the treatment of women and GLBT faculty and students. The full report of the Cultural Diversity and Social Justice Committee is available on the website (http://lrts.stcloudstate.edu/spc).

Service Community Sub-Committee

The service subcommittee's tasks for this year were to define a service community and develop goals to help establish a service community. It decided that this year's focus would be service to students. In future years, the subcommittee's focus will change to the service to and among faculty, staff and the general public. The subcommittee took the perspective that it would incorporate as much as possible of applicable of current campus service initiatives into its planning.

As a result they worked closely with the planners in Student Life and Development and in Administrative Services. In both cases, they worked to make the services provided to students by both these units simpler and more easily accessed. They defined a service community by what it values.

Our service community values:

  • Each member of the community.
  • Everyone treating each other with respect and courtesy.
  • Members taking responsibility for their actions.
  • Training on appropriate behavior and about roles of each community member.
  • Information for new community members on their roles and responsibilities.
  • Information about activities and changes in each unit.
  • Knowing the needs of its clientele.
  • And the diversity of its members.

Recommendations

From conversations with the different groups, the service subcommittee identified three top priorities: improving communication among members, training and orientation for members, and rewarding and recognizing examples of good service. As a large organization timely and accurate information is vital. We encourage every area review and update the information they disseminate on a regular basis and that the University consider some changes that would facilitate communication such as a full time university operator and a phone directory that includes the function of any office on campus. There are additional suggestions about communication in the service subcommittee report (http://lrts.stcloudstate.edu/spc/).

The second priority is orientation and training. We acknowledge that to be a good citizen of a service community one needs to be oriented to that community. If we want people to act responsible we have to inform them of our expectations and their responsibilities. Because services should be responsive to the community, services should be continually reviewed as the community changes. As services change everyone in the community should be provided opportunities with additional orientation or training. As committee, we know it is difficult for almost every area of the university to find the necessary time for training. We encourage that every effort be made so that anyone who wants to learn more about providing better service can take advantage of training.

The last priority is recognizing and rewarding good service. It is difficult to know where to start with this priority since there are so many areas and individuals provide outstanding service. We encourage the administration, the bargaining units, and student government to give serious consideration as how to accomplish this priority. In closing, the subcommittee would like to stress that all areas of the university have a role to play in service to students. How each area approaches student service will obviously differ but we strongly encourage all areas to consider these three priorities and the identified values.

Technology Sub-committee:

Since the plan was completed last year, many individuals and groups on campus have supported the plan by funding portions of the plan.

For example:

  • Last summer most of the building network wiring was completed bringing the total number of active connections up to 2500.
  • Additional modems were added to increase off campus access to electronic information and communications.
  • Additional technical support staff are being hired to support the increased number of computers on campus.
  • Support and training for faculty wishing to increase their utilization of technology has increase. This has been accomplished by the increased offering of faculty seminars, on line training options, and a regional center grant that was recently funded.
  • There are now over 35 classrooms equipped with data projectors. (Eight of these classrooms were installed last summer.) Approximately 25 additional classrooms will be equipped with additional technology resources over the next year.
  • Training and support for any faculty wishing to develop electronic course material is now being supported with new software and training.

In addition to reviewing and recommending specific implementation priorities to the technology plan, this group has been discussing issues with intellectual property issues that will need to be resolved in the near future.
While additional funding and support for the plan would always be needed and appreciated, the technology groups feels that significant progress has been made in the technology area moving us closer to the technology plan's goals.

External Relations Subcommittee:

The External Partnership Subcommittee reviewed the approach used during the past biennial report of the Strategic Planning Committee, the scope of the external assessment, and the accurate reflection of the broader state community in its reflection of the perceptions of St. Cloud State University. The subcommittee felt that the questionnaire sent only to the Legislature and the Media did not give SCSU more than a limited, group specific, "snapshot". The consensus of the subcommittee suggested a broader scope of sampling was needed in this process. Therefore, the members developed questionnaires to be sent to an additional three major external groups. Although in the past the questionnaires were sent out by the subcommittee members and would be their responsibility, we felt that to insure stability and consistency the process should become a regular administrative function. We have therefore implemented a working agreement to institutionalize the procedures and timing for a consistent biennial survey format to assess the views of these groups over an extended time frame. Although the material will still represent a "snapshot" of the time and members of each group surveyed, the over all pattern and longer time period should assist St. Cloud State in establishing a base of data to review and recommend policies that are not arrived at through anecdotal or "my friend said" information.

The revised survey scheduled will begin this summer (1999) and continues through the Spring Semester (2000). The next cycle of surveys, directed to the same constituent groups, will rhizome again in the summer of 2001, cycling through the Spring Semester of 2002. Assessment and evaluation of the data returned will be a joint effort of the External Partnership Subcommittee and the office Instructional Research and Planning. The chief contact in this department is Mary Soroka.

Listed below is the groups to be surveyed, the approximate number of individuals to be sent a questionnaire, and the general time frame in which the questionnaires are to distributed.

ALUMNI 250 SUMMER
MEDIA (PRINT/ELECTRONIC) & 100 FALL
LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS 201 FALL
EDUCATION 100 WINTER
BUSINESS (Graduates Hired) 125 SPRING

Student Life and Development:

The first of the administrative units to complete its planning, student life and development produced a long detailed plan numerous goals for each of its units. It is very difficult to give a coherent summary of this report because of the varied nature of each of the units and the specific nature of their goals and strategies. However we may say that three over all commitments are reflected in this report:

  • That Student Life serve all SCSU's students.
  • That the services be easily accessible.
  • That Student Life support the university's educational and social mission.

Members of the university community who are unaware of the extent and value of Student Life and Development's work are urged to go to the website to read this document.

Enrollment Management Plan:

The Enrollment Management Committee drafted a 30 page report with 76 specific recommendations. Perhaps the recommendations with the widest impact are those setting enrollment targets and those having to do with time to degree.

The enrollment targets are as follows:

  • An overall population of 15,500 students.
  • An entering class of 2,400 new freshman and 1,300 transfer students.
  • At least 3 National Merit finalists annually.
  • 12% of this class will have graduated in the top 10% of its high school class.
  • 25% of them will have been in the top quarter of their graduating class.
  • 300 will be admitted to the division of general studies.
  • 7% of the entering class in fall 2000 be minority rising to 12% 2003.
  • A population of at least 900 international students.

The foundation has significantly added to available scholarship monies to reach these goals. Much of the rest of the report appropriately details recruitment strategies, registration problems, and the need for good information from Institutional Research. However, recommendations 69-74 directly impact programs and departments. These recommendations occur in the progress to graduation section. These are clearly issues that will go to meet and confer and which existing faculty and administrative structures exist to solve.
These recommendations are:

Recommendation 69. Deans and Departments will identify during the Fall 1999 semester curriculum bottlenecks, "killer courses" which large number of students are unable to pass, courses where demand is consistently higher than the number of seats available, academic majors where demand is higher than can currently be met. Academic leadership (deans and faculty) will develop strategies for reducing or eliminating these bottlenecks using existing resources or resources the deans can commit in the near future.

Recommendation 70. Faculty and administration will reinstate the policy of examining low enrollment programs periodically . Previous MSUS policy evaluated them every 5 years.

Recommendation 71. Faculty and administration will hold to the policy that eliminates courses not taught within two years.

Recommendation 72. During the 1999-2000 academic year faculty in departments will review their semester curriculum now that they have had direct experience with offering it and consider ways to recombine or eliminate courses where appropriate. Faculty will streamline the process for such changes. Administration will agree to recognize work on curriculum revision that eliminates courses as of equal value to developing new courses when documented in the process of evaluation, promotion, and tenure.

Recommendation 73. Faculty and administration will begin discussion through Academic Affairs Council and Meet and Confer as to whether there should be any departmental redefinition or reorganization as specified in the contract within the next two years.

Recommendation 74. Faculty and administration will periodically examine the role of the Honors Program and the Division of General Studies in terms of how they contribute to student academic success and revise those programs as needed.

It should be noted that several of these recommendations are similar to ones made be the Academic Distinct Subcommittee and others are arguably part of any college's strategic planning.

Administrative Affairs

Like Student Life and Development, Administrative Affairs is comprised of many different offices whose individual plans are collected in a unit plan. Administrative Services provides three functions for the university:

  • Enrollment Management, including admissions and recruitment, career development, registration and records, financial aid and student accounts (a part of the business office).
  • Resources Management including financial plan maintenance and budgeting, human resources, and the business services office.
  • Support Services including facilities management, public safety, parking, administrative computing, printing services, mail room and delivery services. This division is also responsible for auxiliary services including the bookstore and food services.

We have discussed the Enrollment Management plan above; the facilities plan is not complete at this writing. A part of the enrollment plan not mentioned above, was Career Services' initiative to begin career education in the first year, so that students can make informed choices as they progress through the university.

Administrative Affairs sees its work as focusing on leadership, service, technology, and assessing resources needs. Perhaps more than any other unit it is responsible for our interface with MNSCU's accounting and computing plans, which do not always take into account SCSU's nature or its needs.

The offices of this division have clearly focused of the five strategic themes. Each office has made proposals which are designed to advance those themes which the staff believes can be best effected by that office.

Among the goals they cite, in addition to enrollment management and space management mentioned above, we are the following:

  • Improving campus furnishings such as carpet, furniture, and fixtures for offices an common areas;
  • Implementing a new training program for classified staff;
  • Complete the transition to the MNSCU system including the development of a service plan for Student Life, University Relations, and Administrative Affairs;
  • Implement a new campus ID card with technologies for magnetic swipe and Debit card;
  • Implement the first, campus based food service contract in the system.

This report would be remiss without a mention of the dedicated, hardworking support staff at SCSU. The Strategic Planning Committee explored various aspects of the campus in great depth. We could not but be impressed with the relatively low staffing levels and the difficulties faced by these people. Examples abound: MNSCU's demands we fit with their technology, High work load to staff ratio - among the highest in the nation when measured by the usual staffing indicators -increasing bureaucratic dictums from St. Paul, increasing activity by state auditors, etc. The point here is only to say that this university is well served by this cadre of dedicated support staff who deserve our thanks far more often than we offer it.

This plan will be posted on our web site and I urge interested persons to look at it.

The Game Afoot:

Sherlock Holmes fans will recognize this subtitle which seems to us to catch where we are at this point in the planning process. We have begun boldly, but there is still much to be done. This year's work suggests that we are committed to or are about to commit ourselves to the following:

A commitment to change the composition and the culture of our student body.

If the enrollment goals set forth above are met we will have a student body that is both diverse and better prepared than our current one. Additionally, recommendations from the Academic Distinction subcommittee asking that the Gen Ed Committee see that the core course have a similar and rigorous work load, that first year orientation lay out the expectation will include both verbal and written statements about workload expectations, faculty expectations of students and how to communicate those expectations be a point of discussion in departmental planning, and the request that administrative services develop a cost benefit analysis showing the consequences of stretching the degree out past five years, are all part of an attempt to get students to acknowledge and accept the time and work commitment university study requires. We will never have a student body in which students don't work at outside jobs, but we can help them put academics first and achieve a reasonable balance.

A commitment to change the way we as a community talk to one another.

The desire to find a way to discuss the difficult issues that confront us seems almost universal in these reportsÐonly enrollment management does not address this issue directly and there it is implied. Whether we call it an atmosphere of "trust, respect, and openness" or a "discourse of concerned inquiry" many on this campus feel the need to be able to discuss issues about which we rightly feel passionate about in ways that are respectful and which engender respect.

While everyone accepts this as a wonderful goal, the problem of how to achieve it defeats most of us. Several reports- Academic Distinct and Cultural Diversity and Social Justice- suggest that we need to bring speakers onto campus to model appropriate discourse. Administrators are concerned that a large number speakers or staged debates would squander resources and that those most in need of attending would not be there. It is certainly a top down approach.

Certainly, work the Strategic Planning Committee will have to do next year is to develop ways to reach this goal. College and departmental strategic planning provide a venue in which this issue can be discussed and modeled. We hope that each college's plan will address this issue and we urge them to consider some sort of cross disciplinary seminars, coffees, etc. which might ease this problem.

A commitment to make the university a leader in international education.

Our mission and our vision statements stress our commitment to global issues and to international education. Many reports and stakeholders feel that over the last 6-7 years, we have not kept that part of our mission central in the day to day life of the university. Many of the reports address these issues in one way or another. Much of the planning and implementation of how to achieve this goal must occur at the individual college and department levelsÐno one, but faculty members in a discipline, can effectively include global issues and international perspectives in a curriculum. The hiring of a new Associate Vice President for International Studies is a step in the right direction. To that office and the appropriate faculty committees will fall the task of setting achievable goals and developing strategies to reach them. Opportunities must be provided to faculty to work and study internationally.

A commitment to redefine the nature of faculty work.

Over the last year the Center for Teaching Excellence has promoted the Carnegie Conversations on the four scholarship framework. The Academic Distinction Subcommittee has also called for an acceptance of this framework by both the administration, especially by the deans, and by the faculty. We have also acknowledged that at the current pace of life at SCSU, it is extremely difficult to carve out the time to work in any of the four scholarships. Consequently the availability of release time, the streamlining of teaching schedules and curriculum, and the value of service became exceedingly important and difficult areas. Obviously some of these changes will affect tenure and promotion decisions. Clearly both the IFO and the Administration will have some difficult meet and confers and perhaps some part of that discussion might be carried out in other venues. The Academic Distinction Subcommittee's report makes many specific suggestions in these areas. We hope that faculty as whole will use that report as a guide when colleges and departments plan.

For faculty and perhaps for the university this is the most serious commitment. It will affect the education our students receive, the sense of worth faculty and staff achieve here, and the perceptions of all our stakeholders. The exact nature of these changes is available in broad outline but not in detail. Much of that detail will be worked out next year.

Therefore, we recommend the following:

  • Faculty participate as fully as possible in the Carnegie Conversations and in the planning process in their colleges and departments.
  • The IFO realize that many of its members value the ability to participate in their disciplinary conversation and that we are professors not just teachers. The IFO should work toward equitable reassigned time policies that are available to faculty in all colleges. Implied in this request is the notion that the membership will make clear its position on these matters to the IFO.
  • Concomitant with the recommendation above is the administration's obligation to have reasonable expectations for promotion and tenure which recognize the work load of the faculty and the research resources of the campus. We are not a doctoral I university and standards appropriate to one are not appropriate hereÐfor example most doctoral I's require a book for tenure in many of the disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Faculty must acknowledge that curriculum is not a resource neutral issue.
  • Administration must acknowledge that faculty value their rights in the curriculum process and that the semester shift has reduced the variety of many faculty members' teaching assignments.
A commitment to give students and faculty teaching and learning technologies.

Significant progress has been made toward this goal. Colleges must use the TLTR report to argue for their technological needs. Resources have been found for some of these needs, but at current the pace of change, we must plan for replacement and enhancement. Also implied in this commitment is a growth in service staff to help faculty and others maximize their use of technology.

A commitment to stabilize and increase the university's resources.

If we can achieve the goals laid out in the Enrollment Management report and if MNSCU and the legislature stop changing the funding formula, we should be able to accurately predict and count on income from state aid and tuition. Although not part of strategic planning per se the Foundation's Capital Campaign has already impacted planning. Some of Enrollment Management's new scholarship money comes from the Foundation. It is hoped that an amount may be set aside to generate scholarships. Similarly faculty have begun to increase their grant applications. This work must continue.

Next year's tasks:

First and foremost next year's task is for each college, including graduate studies, to complete a strategic plan that furthers these commitments. If this exercise is to have lasting and useful benefits, colleges and departments must develop and implement the strategies that will make these goals come true. This will put deans in the position of coordinating departmental reviews and plans which respond to the enrollment management report and the academic distinction report. Deans should make sure each department has at least one copy of these reports. The larger Strategic Planning Committee must offer colleges all the help they require.

Our second task will be to turn outward and focus more attention to external relationships than we did this year. This will not only mean looking at how our constituencies see us, but planning through such units as the Division of Continuing Education, International Studies, Sponsored Programs, and the Entrepreneurial Center.

Our third task is to develop ways to monitor and assess our progress toward these goals and to develop feedback loops when we see that our goal or our strategies must change.

Thanks:

To thank everyone who helped us would make the report as long as the Academy Awards Show. We would like to thank especially our staff Leslie Valdes, Fred Walker and Mir Haider. Lucie Schwartzkopf, administrative support in Administrative Affairs, deserves special mention for her help. To all the rest who have contributed to this work thank you, thank you, thank you.

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